I’ve just finished reading Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon, a great book full of advice on creativity. One of Kleon’s points that stood out to me was this one:
Excellent advice, really. Especially in this day and age. Perhaps easier said than done when most of our lives are intertwined with technology through work, study or both. To clarify, Kleon isn’t suggesting that we throw the screens away – a lot of his success as a writer has stemmed from his blog so that’s definitely not what he’s proposing. But making a concerted effort for some screen-free time is relevant advice.
And while definitely a big part, it’s probably not fair to hold our work or study lives as being solely responsible for our screen time. Take a look around a train, a bus or a café and most people are robotically attached to their screens in whatever form they take: iPhones, iPads, laptops – you name it. It’s like we’ve become addicted to screens and like moths to a flame, we can’t stop gravitating towards them.
During a visit to Bali, I discovered that cafés and free wi-fi (for customers) generally go hand-in-hand. So much so, that when I happened to enter a café in Ubud where the people sitting drinking coffee weren’t glued to a screen, I had to have a double take. A glance at the menu revealed that the café deliberately chose not to provide wi-fi for customers, and instead espoused its philosophy of encouraging good old fashioned conversation between friends and family. Imagine that?!
I love the Internet as much as the next person but sometimes there’s nothing as refreshing and clarifying as stepping outside and breathing in some fresh air
to then take a photo and upload it to Instagram devoid of electronic devices. So if you feel like you’re starting to go cross-eyed because you’ve probably been peering at the screen for too long, take Kleon’s advice and step away from the screen!